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Pharmacy Residency Podcast

Dec 11, 2017

On this episode, University of Iowa P4 Jenna Beninga interviews the Iowa Pharmacy Association's Shannon Rudolph, Pharm.D., the association’s 2017 fellow for the IPA Executive Fellowship in Association Management. She completed a Community Pharmacy Residency at UNC-Chapel Hill with Moose Professional Pharmacy in Concord, N.C.
Shannon graduated from the University of Buffalo and brings extensive experience in advanced community pharmacy services, association work, leadership and advocacy through her participation in CPESN USA, National Community Pharmacists Association, and other organizations.
The IPA Executive Fellowship in Association Management is a postgraduate training program conducted at the IPA headquarters under the direction of the professional affairs staff. It was created to support the development of individuals interested in association management through training and experience in leadership, advocacy, professional affairs and problem-solving at IPA. Individuals who complete the fellowship will be well prepared for leadership positions in a variety of settings in the profession of pharmacy and health care. The fellowship is supported by the IPA Foundation
Full Transcript:

Welcome to the Pharmacy Leader's Podcast with your host Tony Guerra. The Pharmacy Leader's Podcast is a member of the Pharmacy Podcast Network with interviews and advice on building your professional network, brand and a purposeful second income from students, residents and innovative professionals.

This is Shannon Rudolph and you're listening to the Pharmacy Leader's Podcast.

Hi this is Jenna Beninga. I am a fourth year APPE student here at Des Moines area community college. I'm here with Shannon Rudolph who's the kind of fellow with the Iowa Pharmacy Association. Shannon, thank you so much for being here today I'm sure the last few weeks have been pretty busy with IO medicate cheating and you've been travelling even today. So I appreciate you being here today.

Thank you, Jana.

So this is really fun for me. To interview you I met you about a month ago and you had career affair at University [indecipherable 00:01:01] Pharmacy and then about, well, a couple weeks ago then ITI hosted an event sponsoring the two pharmacist that are in the Iowa government. So and then I could see you in April when I have my final APPE at ITI headquarters. So it's really fun that we keep running into each other like this.

I know it's been for a while, hasn’t it?

Yeah, so first tell us about your background. Where you're from, where you went to school, how got into where you are today?

Yeah, well, thank you very much Jana for having me on the Podcast today. So a little bit about me, I guess, so I am from a small town called Acro, New York so being here in Iowa is just, you know, a couple of miles from home. I grew up in Western New York, I did pharmacy school and undergrad for that matter at the University of Buffalo. I graduated from pharmacy school just a year and a half ago and, you know, even I would say it through my P3 year I didn’t really think that I'm going to leave Western New York and things changed and I just started to consider different opportunities and then next thing I know I'm doing a community based residency work for University at North Carolina and Moose Pharmacy in the Charlotte, North Carolina area which was a great experience and I moved to Iowa few months ago and I'm now the executive fellow at the Iowa Pharmacy Association.

That's great so along our journey so that’s kind of your pharmacy journey. When did you know that you wanted to be a pharmacist?

So that’s a great question. So I will say that I kind of knew I wanted to go in to health care like science, kind of that just generic health care seems like the right field for me type of situation. So I'll be honest I didn’t have a strong strong great reason to go into pharmacy. Nobody in my family is in the pharmacy profession but I was working at an independent pharmacy at my home town and I think that’s really what sow in the fire that that was the right career path for me. But I said I will be honest I kind of just fell into it but it's one of the biggest blessing I'm so incredibly passionate about pharmacy now. So I'm pretty happy the way it all worked out.

Yeah, well that's really great. So first I want to talk about your community residency that you did.


Prior to the scholarship that’s something that I'm kind of looking to currently but we're kind of, I'm trying that crazy time where soon as my situation updated and I forecast profiles and researching different programs. What did you learn or what did you want to learn from a year with the community residency program?

Yeah that’s a great question. So, you know, as I said, I really didn’t even start thinking about residency programs until my P4 year. So I realize that it's very late in the game but I had a wonderful mentor at the University at Buffalo that said, you know, you should really look out residencies. You know, it'll be a good career path for you so I started thinking and, you know, I knew I was already passionate about community pharmacy so I knew I'd probably do a residency in community. And what I really wanted to learn was just more about patient care services. I'm really how to implement your patient care services into a sustainable model, work that into your work flow so you could really compliment your dispensing services and really help people get the best use out of our medications. So that’s what I wanted to get out of my residency and I definitely got that out of it but I feel like I got a whole lot more too. So I wasn’t expecting to get what I learned was just a much better perspective on how pharmacy fits into the overall health care puzzle. So, you know, in pharmacy school, for me at least I was very pharmacy minded, here's what pharmacy professionals do and throughout my residency I've really had a better understanding of how pharmacy works with the rest of the health care team. How you know being, having good pharmacy services can decrease the overall health care [indecipherable 00:04:58] so it just really put things in perspective better for me.

Yeah, so you definitely got more than you bargained for which is great. I'm sure that’s what they intend with all the pharmacy programs is to meet your needs but also definitely exceed those.

Yeah it's crazy how much you can pack in a just 12-month curriculum so.


Even if I went too fast I'm quite grateful for that opportunity.

So you did your residency at Moose Pharmacy?

That's correct.


Moose Pharmacy in Concord, North Carolina.

Yeah so it was tied to the University of North Carolina, right?

Yes, that’s right.

Ok, so that’s how the community residency program works with the University of Iowa I know you're familiar with it. It's a multi-side program where all the residence kind of have a overwhelming sense of I don’t know bondage together that they're helping with teaching at the university but also have a lot of fellowship with doing their research projects. Is that what you would say your experience was, is that how the university kind of ties you all together or?

Yeah and I'm definitely sitting here smiling just thinking about that and the bonds with the co-residence I had with UNC and just lots of good good memories of past. And if you think about the state of North Carolina I guess it's a pretty long state so we're going to spend our all the way from I'll start up from the mountains down to, you know, the coast and everywhere in between but the University did a great job about making sure that we felt like we were a team. So, you know, we bounced research projects and business project ideas off each other. We had a seminar about once a month that kind of brought us all to campus to do different workshops learn different things that were going on in the state and in the pharmacy profession. We each would give presentations to each other on different topics and things like that and then we became really good friends too. So not just colleagues but really good friends so I would say UNC, you know, similar to what you said with Iowa just to do great job with building that that comradery really.

Yeah I was with Tony and I was wife and Mindy was just naming off where all the residents are now that they've just stayed in touch that much that they know what these colleagues are doing even today even though they are not necessarily in the same state even anymore. So that’s really interesting so then following that year of residency you chose to move all the way to Iowa to a fellowship. So what made you chose Mid-west as an option just for a career in general.

Yeah so I had actually looked at Iowa even prior to that I was known very nationally for being very progressive with the pharmacy profession. So I had already kind of been keeping my eye on what was going on out here on Iowa and then I had met Anthony Pudlo our Vice President of professional affairs at the Iowa Pharmacy Association last October and that’s when I first learned about the fellowship position. So I knew about ITI but I didn’t know they had started a fellowship position the year before. I mean and learning about that position just realized it was a great way for me to further develop my found place at pharmacy professional to be much more involved and advocacy to get a better idea of how we push the pharmacy profession forward. So like I said with my residency I had learned so much about what the profession's potential really was and then I'm like, you know, I think the next step for me is that to work with an organization that continues to raise the bar and continues to push that forward.

So what does it look like I know every day probably looks different for you.

Oh yeah.

But maybe give us a picture of what you've been doing in the last six months now with ITI you're about halfway through?

Yeah and oh don’t say that. [indecipherable 00:08:42] already but I would say about half of my week sometimes we're in different meetings with different with different stakeholders so sometimes we're in meetings with the Medical Society or the Hospital Station or the Department of Public Health. I would say that’s a huge one we're working on a couple of different projects with the Department of Public Health and as you can think about it a lot of the projects that pharmacy was working on, immunizations, point of cure testing that really compromise public health initiatives as well. Then I would say the other half of my week I'm usually more based in the office working on different projects. We have quite a few different grand projects and clinical initiatives that the pharmacy association is either reading or having hand in other different organization. So kind of figuring out all those different moving parts together and you're moving those forward, answering different questions from our membership. A lot of what I do is answering questions related to IO Medicate and Manage Cure or some of the different projects that we're working on.

So one of the things I know, most pharmacists in Iowa know ITI for is they really promote donating to this eye-pack then. So first of all what is eye-pack and how does donating to eye-pack really help ITI but also help change the profession?

Yeah so it’s the Iowa pharmacy, I'm clinical action committee so our pack fund. So individual pharmacist so our, you know, individuals throughout the state can donate a contribution to the eye-pack and that goes to work with our legislators as different political candidates and just really continues to strengthen those relationships that Iowa pharmacists already have with their legislators. So we'll work with legislators that are very supportive of the pharmacy profession. Have been very supportive in different health care initiatives in the past so it's just a way to continue to build those relationships and make sure that the vision of pharmacy is very visible to our legislators.

So besides donating to eye-pack what are the other ways that pharmacists in Iowa can be involved, support ITI and create better change, so are there any other ways that you would suggest a pharmacist to that?

Yeah so a couple of different things I can think of off the top of my head in a new way so. It's one be involved in the Iowa pharmacy association and if you're not in Iowa wherever you are be involved with your pharmacy association be connected to what's going on with the profession. It's also if you do run into a problem with your practice and you want to be able to, you know, advance the pertinacious policy of Iowa or whatever it is working with the pharmacy association and connecting with the other pharmacist in your state is really going to help you be able to do that. And the other thing I would say from an advocacy perspective is get to know your legislators. So when we do different legislator perceptions and things like that the first thing our legislators ask where is somebody from my district. So they want to get to know you and that’s fantastic because then if a bill or something comes up at the hill that’s related to pharmacy or health care if you already have that relationship with your legislator you're a great resource to answer those types of questions.

Yeah and I know legislative days coming up too which is a great opportunity for students and pharmacists to unite and talk to those legislators that are in there region and.

Yes, so Wednesday, January 24th so Wednesday the 24th January so definitely coming up.

I learned from our discussion at the career-fare last month that Iowa is really unique we have a great pharmacy association and I know you have a perspective with seeing other states, tell me, what stands ITI apart from other state organizations?

Yeah so I would say that the Iowa pharmacy association is very unique in front of other state associations so the most obvious reason to me is the fact that it’s a merged association. So some states will have an association that represents more community practice pharmacist and then another health system society and different organizations that represent different states with the production. I think what's great about Iowa pharmacy association is we represent everyone so we represent all pharmacist, student pharmacist and pharmacy technicians across the health care section so from your wearied academic medical centers and your critical access hospitals to your kind of independent pharmacies, your larger national and regional change, long-term care, your non-traditional rules and just about everything in between really so then again it’s a merged association. And then, you know, I think that’s incredibly beneficial because if you think about today's health care environment and we're talking about, you know, pharmacist working across the health care continuum. I think that really positions us whilst to be able to talk with different stake holders and in care for patients across the health care continuum.

Yeah, the continuity of care is so vital to the pharmacy and all healthcare professionals and talking with Tony earlier today I don’t think we would realize that ITI was so unique in the respect that other states even have different organizations representing pharmacy technicians versus pharmacist.

Yeah there are some states that have that for sure and I think that’s another piece of ITI that’s really special is the fact that it's pharmacist and student pharmacist and pharmacy technicians and there's a really good understanding at ITI that those things go hand in hand. So you can't advance the pharmacist profession without also advancing the pharmacy technician part of the profession as well and same vice versa.

So now you've got rid of pharmacy school, you've done a residency, you've done fellowship. Do you have any idea what's up next for you?

So that is definitely the million dollar question. And I would say for about residency and even more in this fellowship I've really developed a passion for practice advancement and helping pharmacist practice. You know, the way that they want to be practicing to serve their patients so I do know that whatever comes next after this I really want to be involved in those practice advancement type of initiatives and how can pharmacist serve their patients to the best of their ability.

Well I hope you've really enjoyed your time at Iowa, I know Tony said, from moving from East Coast through to the Mid-west she had to really get used to this whole Iowa nice thing. So I hope everyone has been very welcoming to you from out east.

Definitely so and I grew up in a small town in New York so it's kind of similar kind of similar to Iowa so not too much of a culture shock by any means but.


Definitely loved the Mid-west and I'm hoping to stay here after this year.

Good that's exciting. So the last questions I have are just kind of more general questions. First of all what advice would you give to students that are currently on rotations like the IM?

So currently on rotation, so I would say make the most of every rotation you're on. So I realized that there is going to be some practice settings that you'll be on rotation they're not quite your cup of tea, you might already know that you won't be practicing in that type of setting long term but make the most of it and definitely learn something from it. So my favorite rotation as a student was my nephrology rotation, I was on a retinal transplant floor. I will probably never work very closely with retinal transplant patients again in that type of setting anyways but I loved it and I got a lot out of it. It really challenged me and I think the other piece of it is, you know, there's a several couple of a time for those, you know, that continuity of care and taking care of patients across the entire health care spectrum is so important. So whatever side you're in try to relate it to where you see yourself practicing so if you're in a in-patient setting but you want to work in an out-patient setting you need to have a good idea of what's going on in the hospital, what that patient is experiencing, what that disk-charge classes is like so you find that patient ends up at your pharmacy you have a better idea of how you can help them and same vice versa.

Yeah, exactly, that’s a really good point. You may not be exactly where you would place yourself but to make the most of that opportunity is really important and it really builds you to be a pharmacist no matter what role you're going to play. So what is your daily ritual to get your day on track?

That’s a good question so I wouldn’t say that every day is on track for me so just plainly there but definitely lot of coffee but also just trying to kind of find that balance side. Wouldn’t necessarily say that every day I have a balance but I try at least every week to make try and have a balance so, you know, I set some goals for myself of what do I want to accomplish professionally like what do I need to make sure I get down at work and then also what would I like to be getting down at work as well to maybe get a hat or to do something a little bit more innovative and the deadline's at right in front of me but I want to be doing that it's professional and rewarding. But then also I want to make sure every week I'm doing something that’s good for me either personally healthy and I'm going for a run or whatever it is. Or if it is something that really helps build my relationships with my friends and families so making sure that you're reaching out to those people like my family that’s back on the East Coast and things like that and not losing those relationships so just trying to find that balance.

And next what is the best advice you've ever been given or received whether its pharmacy related or just life motivational advice?

Yeah I guess plain and simple just to be positive. I think it's really really easy to be negative and you know specially when, you know, joining are student and you're finishing up and I'm going to graduate in residency and fellowship and what’s next of it just rush rush rush rush. And it's very easy to feel like you're overwhelmed but just be positive and kind of look at everything from, you know, how is this helping you grow and bettering yourself and having that positivity runs up on the people around you. And similarly if you're negative that runs up on the people around you and they may not want to be around you and it may affect your work performance and things like that so. Be positive, don’t be overwhelmed, I read something recently about, sad, you know, if you feel like you're in darkness and if you're being buried maybe it's really just you being clenched. So you kind of think of it as your kind of a seed being positioned to grow into something better so just perspective, having positive perspective.

Right and actually that’s not just work-related that’s something you carry over in everything in life.


So lastly what inspires you?

So what inspires me, you know, if you're talking about pharmacy and, you know, I love pharmacist in Iowa, really really inspired me. So it’s a huge part of the reason I wanted to come out Iowa in the first place and as I said it's just known for being kind of a breeding ground for all these innovative pharmacy ideas, some amazing though so I really get inspired everyday about what our ITI members that are out there practicing, these great ideas that they want to implement into their practice. Things that I never would have thought of so I'm just very inspired by that I feel very blessed to have gotten to know all these amazing Iowa pharmacist.

And then if anyone has any questions how should they best contact you? Do you have an email address you prefer?

Yeah, so my email address is, it's my ITI email address it's S Rudolph so

Well thank you so much for being here it was really great to get to talk to you more and just to know that we get to hang out again probably soon.

Yeah, I'm looking forward to you coming to ITI rotations.

Yeah, so thank you so much for being here today and thank you all for listening.

Thank you, Jana.

Support for this episode comes from the audiobook Memorizing Pharmacology a relaxed approach with over 9000 sales in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia it's the go-to resource to ease the Pharmacology challenge. Available on Audible, iTunes and in print eBook and audiobook. Thank you for listening to the Pharmacy Leader's Podcast with your host Tony Guerra. Be sure to share the show with hashtag hash pharmacy leaders.